The Collège de 'pataphysique is a Paris-based society composed of artists and writers interested in the philosophy of 'pataphysics which member Raymond Queneau has described as resting "on the truth of contradictions and exceptions." Motto: "Eadem mutata resurgo" The term was coined by Alfred Jarry and first appeared in print in the article "Guignol" in the 28 avril 1893 issue of L'Echo de Paris litteraire illustré. Works by the society's members in Special Collections cover a wide range of subjects from literature and philosophy to science, music and the fine arts; an irreverent sense of humor is part of all the society's publications.
The words running around the seal (shown at left) are: Eadem mutata resurgo. The significance of the apostrophe in their name is partially explained in an "order" dated 22 merdre 82: "only the word Pataphysics referring substantially and in conformity with the text of Jarry, to the Science of Imaginary Solutions as such, is entitled to the apostrophe. It is merely tolerated that in certain cases it be granted, ad convenientiam, that the substantive used in genere take the apostrophe; in most cases, it is better to refrain. The adjective does not take the apostrophe." -- The true, the good, the beautiful (1993), translated from the French by Andrew Hugill.
The works in the Special Collections complement books located elsewhere in the Mount Holyoke Library system: compositions by Erik Satie in the Music Library, and books on the art of Jean Dubuffet and editions of Jarry's works in the main library's general collections.